Lending a hand

Volunteering with Central Health can be a rewarding experience 


Published on April 18, 2017

For the past 10 years Sylvia Moss has been a volunteer at James Paton Memorial Hospital’s information desk. With close to 50 volunteer positions available at the Central Health hospital in Gander, she encourages others to get involved in this rewarding experience.

©Adam Randell/Beacon

GANDER, NL – Navigating the many hallways to access services at James Paton Memorial Hospital in Gander can be a little overwhelming for first-time visitors.

That is, until they are met by the warm smile of Sylvia Moss, who is more than happy to point them in the right direction.

Moss is one of several volunteers working at the hospital’s information desk. Her role is to provide directions to patients, family members and clients. While she’s been volunteering for much of her life, Moss has been volunteer at the information desk for 10 years.

“I enjoy helping and being around people. Some people come in and you can tell they need someone to say good morning and ask them how they are doing, and how you can help,” she said. “That’s why I do it.”

Joanna King, manager of Volunteer Services at Central Health, said the volunteer information desk has been in place for more than 30 years.

“It’s a great point of contact, and volunteers provide a welcoming face and friendly approach,” said King. “When you’re coming in, it’s great to have somebody there with a smile on their face to help you.”

Volunteers needed

Currently the information desk has five positions available for two hours a day, from Monday to Friday. King said additional volunteers would be appreciated to continue providing this needed service.

“It would allow us to look at a broader range of shifts,” she said.

With close to 50 volunteer positions at James Paton Memorial Regional Health Centre and Lakeside Homes, King welcomes residents to get involved in playing an integral role in the health foundation’s numerous initiatives.

 “We do have a great team of volunteers here, but naturally we are always looking to build upon our services. We would certainly be grateful if we did have individuals come forward, interested in getting involved,” she said. “We have a lot of great positions and roles volunteers could choose from based on their interest.”

Volunteer positions include mealtime assistant, support companion, comfort assistant, palliative care companion, gift shop attendant, vending machine attendant, information desk attendant, gardener, entertainment, events, and therapy dog support.


Central Health is looking for volunteers for the following positions in Gander. If you would like to volunteer, please call Volunteer Services at 256-5537 or email volunteer@centralhealth.nl.ca.

Information desk (James Paton)

Information desk attendants welcome and provide way-finding assistance and directions to the public. Volunteers are asked to cover a two-hour shift, one morning a week.

Gift shop (James Paton)

Gift shop attendants greet customers and ring in sales. Volunteers are asked to cover a two-hour shift, during the day or evening, or on the weekend. One hundred per cent of funds raised go towards purchasing priority equipment for patients within the region.

Mealtime assistant (Lakeside)

Volunteers are matched with two residents and spend one shift per week with the residents to set up their food trays, encourage them to eat, and provide hands-on feeding assistance. Volunteers are asked to cover a 1.5 to two hour shift, one mealtime a week.

Companion Volunteer (Lakeside)

Volunteers spend one-on-one time with residents and help with activities and special events. Volunteers are asked to offer two hours a week. Hours may be flexible and arranged with the recreation department.

Musical volunteers (Lakeside)

Volunteers share their musical talent and play for residents. Volunteer hours may be flexible and arranged with the recreation department.